Angelica town and village residents voted 347-252 to approve a ballot proposition that dangled $78 million in future payments to those municipalities as a condition to adding 107 acres to the 78-acre landfill. The project would raise Hyland’s permitted capacity from 465,000 tons of waste a year to 1 million tons and boost it to the fourth-largest MSW landfill in the state, up from No. 8.

Casella is still “three to four years” away from obtaining all the necessary local and state permits to complete the expansion, said Larry Shilling, vice president of landfill and business development for the company. But permits could be in place by 2025 when the state’s largest MSW landfill, Seneca Meadows in Waterloo, is required to close. Owners of that giant landfill have been trying to arrange a work-around of the closure mandate.

“There is some question as to how long Seneca Meadows is going to stay open,” Shilling said. “So the disposal capacity in New York State has a chance of dwindling and the opportunity may be there to take some of their waste.”

In addition to negotiating a new host agreement with Angelica, Casella must still win the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s approval of a supplemental environmental impact statement, among other requirements. Hyland began operating in 1998 on a 39-acre site. After a 2004 referendum was passed, the facility won permits to expand to 78 acres in 2006.

Since 1998, the Town of Angelica has received more than $12 million in host community fee payments. Under the latest agreement, the town would receive another $65 million spread out over at least 25 years. The Village of Angelica would also receive $13 million over the life of the expanded landfill.

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Author: Peter Mantius,